My mother used to discipline us boys with a homemade fly swatter – as a last resort. It didn’t hurt much, but it made a great swatting sound so it was rather effective at getting our attention.
Once, when I was about five (now 67), my mother who had enough of my shenanigans that day, took me over her knee and gave me a good swat or two with that flyswatter. But those swats are not what really spoke to my heart that day. Her tears did.
After disciplining me, my mom customarily would hug me to herself to remind me that she spanked me out of love to help me grow up to be a godly man. This time, however it was different. As she hugged me, she remained silent and simply starting crying. After a bit, I asked her why she was crying. She said that it hurt her deeply to have to discipline me – to have to hurt me to get my attention on the right kinds of things.
I’ll never forget those tears because they filled my heart with tenderness like nothing else had ever done. That was the last time my mom spanked me, and I have to think it was because my love for her had grown so much stronger because of her obvious tender love for me.